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EastTennessee Physical Therapy News
FROM THE DESK OF
DANNY D. SMITH
To our patients and the community,
Amid the concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the newly issued stay-at-home order, we want our patients and the community to know this does not apply to health care visits at this time. We are still wholeheartedly dedicated to supporting and promoting health and physical activity. We are here for you and aim to remain open throughout this pandemic. Upon your arrival to the clinic, each patient and visitor must have their temperature taken. We are also asking that only one family member or friend accompany each patient. To prevent the spread of germs, please continue to wash your hands often and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. If you have a new onset of symptoms within the past two weeks, a fever of 100 degrees F or higher, unexplained cough or shortness of breath, or have recently traveled to a highly populated area outside the United States, please notify us prior to your next appointment. The staff of Physical Therapy Services, P.A. appreciate your cooperation and know that these precautionary measures are to protect you, visitors, and our employees.
I magine if you spent a day standing outside your local gym and asking everyone who went in the same question: “Why are you working out today?”What kind of responses do you think you’d get? Some answers, like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to build muscle,” are obvious, but there’s another contender that might rise to the top: “I want to clear my head.” Anecdotally, most of us know that a hard run or a challenging weightlifting session can help declutter our minds and push petty worries and stressors away. But according to one study, it’s possible that exercise can literally clear up messy nerve cells to restore and improve our memories. For the more than 50 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, this simple treatment could prove revolutionary. In a 2018 article, Scientific American describes the brains of people with Alzheimer’s as “harsh place[s] filled with buildups of harmful nerve cell junk,” including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. This complex neural web makes the disease difficult to treat, but an experiment conducted by scientists from Harvard Medical School, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and other notable institutions found that exercise helps clear up the tangles and improve learning and memory in mice with Alzheimer’s. The scientists even went a step further, identifying a particularly helpful molecule called BDNF that gets a boost from exercise. Now, pharmaceutical companies can use that insight to formulate drugs for Alzheimer’s that raise BDNF. CAN EXERCISE JOG YOUR MEMORY? How Regular Workouts Could Help Prevent Alzheimer ’s
Dr. Justin Smith, PT
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Multiple studies have found that exercise even helps the brain grow, adding volume to the prefrontal cortex and the medial temporal cortex, which control thinking and memory. To get these benefits, you need to make exercise a regular part of your routine, although you don’t necessarily need to sweat every day. One study found that women who walked briskly for just one hour twice a week achieved increased brain volume over six months to a year. If you can’t spare whole hours, you can break that time up into shorter sessions to get results. In an article for Harvard Medical School, Heidi Godman writes that just about any moderate-level exercise will do. She recommends swimming, stair climbing, tennis, dancing, or even chores like mopping floors or raking leaves —pretty much anything that gets your heart pumping. To hold yourself accountable, try partnering up with a friend, keeping a journal of your progress, or hiring a personal trainer. “Whatever exercise and motivators you choose, commit to establishing exercise as a habit, like taking a prescription medication,” Godman writes. “After all, they say that exercise is medicine, and that can go on the top of anyone’s list of reasons to work out.” The next time you find yourself struggling with brain fog or worrying about your memory declining in old age, instead of focusing on those negatives, try packing a bag and hitting the gym. If it works for the mice, it just might work for you, too!
Until those drugs arrive, though, exercise alone might help prevent or heal memory loss. As Dr. Jonathan Graff-Radford puts it in an article for the Mayo Clinic, “Studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function, have a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and possibly have improved thinking among people with vascular cognitive impairment.”
Should You Skip Your Workout if You Don’t Feel Well?
Why Some Exercise Is Beneficial When You’re Sick
If you have a fever or any type of stomach problem, however, you should skip your workout altogether. And if your workouts seem to exacerbate your sickness, take a break until the sickness subsides. That said, it’s nice to know that it takes more than a little case of the sniffles to throw off your workout routine!
Getting sick is terrible, especially if you’re trying to stick to a consistent workout routine. You may think sickness means more rest days — but in fact, depending on your symptoms, continuing to exercise could be a good thing. While it may seem like common sense to avoid exerting yourself too much when you’re feeling under the weather, the effects of exercising while you’re sick are a bit more nuanced than you think. If you’re sick and trying to decide if you should try to get a workout in, assess where you feel your symptoms. Are they only above the neck? Or are they above and below the neck? Symptoms of a head cold, such as a runny nose, a mildly sore throat, and some congestion, shouldn’t keep you from exercising. At the very worst, you might just have to cut back the intensity of your workout. If you usually go for a run, try decreasing the time of your run or going for a walk instead. There’s actually evidence that exercise can help alleviate symptoms located above the neck when you’re sick. For instance, walking and jogging can help clear up congested nasal passages. Many runners will attest to the fact that their workout actually helps them feel better when they’re sick. There’s also evidence that yoga can boost your immune system and ease aches related to sinus issues. Saying “om” might even help too, as one study found humming could actually aid in opening clogged sinuses.
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What Moms Really Want on Mother’s Day HAS BREAKFAST IN BED GONE OUT OF STYLE?
in bed has become a popular Mother’s Day ritual around the world, and it remains so today. However, there is one group whose voice has been left out of the breakfast in bed conversation: mothers. In a recent study conducted by Zagat, a well-known dining survey site, researchers found that only 4% of moms polled want breakfast in bed. Yes, you read that right. When you factor in the mess of syrup, crumbs, and coffee spilling over clean sheets, it’s understandable. Today’s mothers usually don’t have servants to clean up afterward. The study also revealed what most moms prefer to do for breakfast on Mother’s Day: 53% of mothers like to go out, and 39% prefer brunch instead of breakfast. While breakfast in bed seems like a nice gesture, statistics show that it’s probably the last thing your mom wants to wake up to on May 10. This Mother’s Day, show your appreciation for your mom or the mother of your children by asking her what she would like to do. She deserves the holiday morning she desires, whether that includes a full breakfast in bed or a trip to her favorite brunch joint.
Serving breakfast in bed to moms, especially on Mother’s Day, has been a widespread tradition for years, but have you ever wondered if it’s what your mom really wants? Here’s a look at the Mother’s Day breakfast in bed tradition and some recent insight into the popular trend. According to Heather Arndt Anderson, author of “Breakfast: A History,” the popularity of breakfast in bed became widespread during the Victorian era, but only for married, wealthy women who had servants. Those women would enjoy their first meal of the day in bed, and then their servants would handle all the spilled scone crumbs and messy breakfast residue. In 1914, President WoodrowWilson dubbed Mother’s Day a national U.S. holiday, and a few years later, the aristocratic English tradition of breakfast in bed sailed across the pond to America. By the 1930s, food and bedding companies capitalized on the tradition and the new holiday by running ads in magazines and newspapers encouraging children and fathers to serve their matriarchs breakfast in bed. Since then, serving mothers breakfast
INGREDIENTS RHUBARB CAKE
Inspired by AllRecipes.com
• • • •
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups white sugar, divided 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rhubarb stalks, diced
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup flour until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture on top of cake batter and bake for 45 minutes. Let cake cool for 5–10 minutes and serve.
Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in eggs and sour cream until smooth. Fold in rhubarb and add mixture to the prepared baking dish.
OUTDOORS POLLEN SUNSHINE TAURUS
MAYFLY MEMORIAL MEXICO MOTHERS
BUTTERFLY FLOWERS JEDI LADYBUG
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Inside This Issue From the Desk of Dr. Smith PAGE 1 Can Exercise Jog Your Memory? PAGE 1 Should You Skip Your Workout if You’re Sick? PAGE 2 Has Breakfast in Bed Gone Out of Style? PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Rhubarb Cake PAGE 3 A New Way to Treat Lower Back Pain PAGE 4
A NEW OPTION TO TREAT LOWER BACK PAIN Medicare Now Covers Acupuncture
Good news for Medicare beneficiaries! In a landmark decision, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has opted to cover acupuncture treatments for those suffering from chronic lower back pain. This new treatment option opens more possibilities for those seeking pain relief and hints at more choices becoming available to beneficiaries in the future. If you’ve been wanting to try acupuncture for your chronic lower back pain, then there are some things you should know before seeking treatment. Can acupuncture help? Acupuncture is an ancient formof medicine, with roots as far back as 100 B.C. Today, many patients in the United States have found the treatment effective— though clinical trials have proven inconclusive. However, in 2017, guidelines published by the American College of Physicians foundmoderate evidence that acupuncture is effective at treating lower back pain andmay be a viable option for you if other methods of pain relief aren’t working. What will Medicare cover? For those with Original Medicare (parts A and B), your plan will cover up to 12 acupuncture treatments over 90 days. These have to be administered by a licensed acupuncturist to treat chronic lower back pain. If you see noticeable improvements in your condition after your treatment, an additional eight sessions may be covered.
What ’s the big picture? The CMS’decision to cover acupuncture marks the first time Medicare has expanded to an area of alternative medicine. The decision came in response to the opioid crisis, which has unfortunately highlighted the extremely harmful effects of painkillers on individuals and families. As more alternative medicine treatments are studied, Medicare beneficiaries faced with other forms of chronic painmay have new treatment options opened to them. If you feel that your chronic pain isn’t responding well to physical therapy alone, don’t be afraid to incorporate treatments like acupuncture in conjunction with exercises like yoga. These typically work well as a supplement to physical therapy. If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain and would like an alternative to opioids or surgery, talk to your physical therapist and see what options work with your current treatment.
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